October 4 Trump Covid-19 news

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020
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8:19 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

White House Correspondents Association denounces Trump motorcade photo-op without protective pool

From CNN's Allie Malloy

The president of the White House Correspondents Association, Zeke Miller, denounced President Trump in a statement for his boarding his motorcade for a photo op around the Walter Reed National Medical Hospital without the protective travel pool which is supposed to accompany the President whenever he is out of the White House.

Read the statement:

“It is outrageous for the president to have left the hospital — even briefly — amid a health crisis without a protective pool present to ensure that the American people know where their president is and how he is doing. Now more than ever, the American public deserves independent coverage of the president so they can be reliably informed about his health.”

Some context: The White House press pool was not notified about Trump’s movement outside of Walter Reed medical center, according to the latest pool report.

There was a travel photo lid issued by the White House earlier today, indicating the President would not be seen in public.

It is highly irregular for the press pool not to accompany the President during a movement. 

Watch CNN coverage here:

6:46 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Attorney General Barr has received four negative Covid-19 tests since Friday and will self-quarantine "for now"

From CNN’s Evan Perez

Attorney General William Barr attends a meeting at the White House on September 23 in Washington DC.
Attorney General William Barr attends a meeting at the White House on September 23 in Washington DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General William Barr will self-quarantine "for now" but is expected to return to work this week, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

The attorney general recently came in close contact with members of President Trump's inner circle who have tested positive for Covid-19, including former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Barr has received four negative Covid-19 test results since Friday morning, including Sunday, Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec said Sunday.

He anticipates returning to the Department of Justice midweek, according to Kupec.

6:25 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

The White House press pool was not notified about Trump's movement outside of Walter Reed 

From CNN's Gregory Clary

President Donald Trump waves to supporters outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 4.
President Donald Trump waves to supporters outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 4. Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

The White House press pool was not notified about President Trump’s movement outside of Walter Reed medical center, according to the latest pool report.

There was a travel photo lid issued by the White House earlier today, indicating the President would not be seen in public.

It is highly irregular for the press pool not to accompany the President during a movement. 

Watch CNN coverage:

6:08 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Trump is back at the Walter Reed medical center

From CNN’s Allie Malloy

President Trump has returned to Walter Reed medical center, according to a statement from White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere, provided to the pool.

“President Trump took a short, last-minute motorcade ride to wave to his supporters outside and has now returned to the Presidential Suite inside Walter Reed,” Deere said.

 

5:48 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Trump in Twitter video: "It's been a very interesting journey"

From CNN’s Allie Malloy

President Trump also announced in a new video that he is getting “great reports” from his doctors and said it’s “been a very interesting journey” since getting Covid-19.

“So it’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about Covid,” Trump said in the video released on his Twitter page. 

“I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the let’s read the book school and I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing. I’m gonna be letting you know about it. In the meantime, we love the USA and we love what’s happening," he said.

Trump said while in the hospital he was also able to meet “some of the soldiers and great responders.” He didn’t explain further on those meetings.

On his surprise visit passing supporters in a motorcade outside Walter Reed medical center, Trump said: “I’m not telling anybody but you but I’m about to make a little surprise visit. So perhaps I’ll get there before you get to see me. But I just, when I look at the enthusiasm- and we have enthusiasm like probably nobody’s ever had.”

 

6:17 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Trump passes supporters in motorcade outside Walter Reed

From CNN’s Allie Malloy and Maeve Reston

President Donald Trump waves to supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, October 4 in Bethesda, Maryland.
President Donald Trump waves to supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, October 4 in Bethesda, Maryland. CNN

President Trump just rode past supporters in front of Walter Reed medical center.

CNN captured the President waving from inside a SUV.

"We just saw the President drive by in the motorcade to wave to supporters. It was a stunning scene. We didn't get any notification, of course. Initially they started to block off a part of the street right here in front of Walter Reed national military medical center. And then the President's motorcade proceeded to drive down one side of the street where you have several dozen of the President's supporters," CNN's Jeremy Diamond, who is on the scene outside Walter Reed, said. 

"The motorcade drove by at a pretty slow pace and the supporters here for the President went wild as they saw this happen," Diamond added.

The image of Trump, wearing a mask but in close contact with others, only raised more questions about how seriously the President is taking the virus.

Watch:

6:12 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Trump says in video on Twitter he's going to make a "surprise visit"

From CNN’s Allie Malloy

President Donald Trump shares a video from Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, October 4.
President Donald Trump shares a video from Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, October 4. Donald J. Trump/Twitter

President Trump said in a video posted on his Twitter account that he's going to make a "surprise visit" after talking about supporters outside of Walter Reed medical center.

Watch here:

1:15 p.m. ET, October 5, 2020

US diplomatic posts have not received guidance on how to discuss Trump's condition

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

A State Department official said that as of Sunday afternoon US diplomatic posts had not received guidance on how to talk about President Trump’s condition.

The official said typically when something important happens, the posts will receive guidance but sometimes it takes time. They also noted that the President having a major medical situation is not typical. They expected that the posts would get guidance in the coming days, but did not know for sure.

This official noted the diplomatic importance of the administration providing clear and accurate information. 

“If there were straightforward information put out that would be helpful,” they said. 

“Governments look to us for some stability so they will be eager for information that allows them to assess where things stand,” they said, adding that there’s not a sense of confidence currently.  

However, they also noted that “there’s a lot of experience among most of our government contacts at dealing with a very unconventional chaotic approach to information” over the past four years.

CNN on Monday obtained a diplomatic cable sent to posts Saturday about what America’s diplomats abroad could say about President Trump being diagnosed with Covid-19, but it gave no guidance about the health status of the president who was at Walter Reed hospital by the time the cable was sent.

The guidance makes it clear that America’s diplomats are not expected to discuss the specifics about Trump’s health status or the fact that he had been brought to the hospital on Friday night, after receiving additional oxygen after his oxygen levels had rapidly dropped.

One State Department official who received the cable told CNN that some diplomats were only forwarded the guidance from their bosses who received it on Monday when they got to work. 

This post has been updated with additional reporting. 

4:45 p.m. ET, October 4, 2020

Trump is taking a steroid drug for coronavirus. That could be serious, doctors say

From CNN's Maggie Fox and Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Brian Garibaldi speaks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 4 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Brian Garibaldi speaks with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 4 in Bethesda, Maryland. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

One of the physicians treating President Trump, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, said Sunday the President is being given the steroid drug dexamethasone as part of his Covid-19 treatment.

It's an indication that Trump's condition is worrying, as the drug should not be given to anyone who is not ill enough to justify the downsides of taking steroids -- including that it suppresses the immune system.

"We decided that in this case the potential benefits, early on in the course, probably outweighed the risks at this time," White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told reporters outside Walter Reed medical center Sunday.

Some more background on this drug: At least one large, randomized study has shown coronavirus patients do better if they are given dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available corticosteroid drug that tamps down dangerous inflammation. 

The National Institutes of Health says in its guidelines on treating coronavirus infections that "patients with severe Covid-19 can develop a systemic (all-of-body) inflammatory response that can lead to lung injury and multisystem organ dysfunction." Based on the results of the one trial, the NIH panel of experts recommended giving dexamethasone to Covid-19 patients who need oxygen. 

"The panel recommends against using dexamethasone for the treatment of Covid-19 in patients who do not require supplemental oxygen," the NIH guidelines read.

In the study on dexamethasone, which was conducted in Britain, about 23% of patients who got dexamethasone died, compared to about 26% of those who did not.

Read more here.